Some thoughts on Addiction
"You don't actually have to show up to your healing with all your own supplies." The mic drop line I needed this morning. Thank you! 🙏
Wow! When I clicked on your email in my inbox and read the title for this blog post, I thought, “I’m not an addict, so I’m not sure how this will apply to me, but pretty much everything Nadia writes is great, so it will be a good way to start your day.” Then I read your words, “…buying shit you don’t need,” and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I AM an addict to shopping, and every single day I endeavor to control it, and even convince myself (and try to convince my husband) I am in control, but I’m not. My bank account and recurring debt is all the proof anyone needs of that. Thank you for this word, Nadia. This is exactly what I needed to read this morning to get the help I need and to stop trying to do it on my own. What a gift you are! Keep sharing your truth. We need you.
“You can call out for help in the darkness of your own blackout, when the [will]power grid has once again gone down, and plug into a whole different power supply: endless, clean, renewable energy for the road ahead.” I’m trying. 🙏🏻
Wow....just wow. I was addicted to attention from men. I was a never ending begging bowl of need. After destroying my life and those around me with this, I would say that recovery is healing and there is hope. I don't have a "cool" addiction (how awesome, she got off meth and blow!), but one that many react to with aversion and judgement. It's not a disease, it's a character flaw. So I need God to help me because I have to fight for every inch of inner value in an onslaught of societal and ecclesiastical shame. God is with me and I know he values the brokenhearted, of which I am one.
"I mean, if I AM ALL I HAVE, I can’t think of anything more depressing.” Depressing for sure but a spectacular opportunity for enlightenment. My cantankerous teenage grandson was in one of his "moods" while we were driving to our weekly grandpa/grandson seafood dinner. "I just don't trust anyone but myself" he said, "oh, and I guess you and grandma but no one else." We were, at that moment, on the interstate perimeter highway around Atlanta keeping up with traffic at about 75MPH. I said "look around you, how many cars and trucks and semis do you think you can count in the next 5 minutes?" He gave me that "yeh right" teenage look. (I sometimes think that is practiced in front of a mirror until a certain sarcasm look is achieved.) I said "do you know any of the vehicles?" No. "How about any of the drivers?" No. "So we know no one and yet we 100% put our trust in them that they will stay safe and take care of us. And they put that same trust in us." So we began to talk about coming up with a situation in our day to day lives where we weren't placing full trust if folks we didn't know and they, likewise, in us. Am I all I have? Or am I part of tapestry of interdependent colors and textures, some known but most undiscovered, that is truly unavoidable in life?
I am a recovering alcoholic. My first sponsor told me I had a relatively shallow bottom. And, it would be easy to list “I never”: never lost a job, never had a blackout, etc. Going to AA, I heard stories from people who had similar experiences - “just one more drink.” My intuition was, I would lose a job or hit a a deeper bottom if I kept relying on my own will power alone.
Thanks to AA, I became a new person. I experienced a type of resurrection. From that, I think those in recovery who have had a similar experience ARE lucky, because they have a connection to the reality of the resurrection of Jesus.
Thank you for this morning’s blog. I am in therapy for help with an identity crisis. My therapist suggested Berne Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection and the Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. I am also reading Christianity After Religion by Diana Butler Bass which has a WHOLE lot about changing identity. Yesterday I had a really, really good day, the best in years and was feeling like I was at least ALMOST THERE. Then this morning I get up and am back at least ten steps. Then I read your post and am reminded that I’m not in this alone, I have a God that I can rely on to help me become the person I am meant to be. Today I will rely on God’s strength to carry me through.
In my earlier days, when people would identify themselves in meetings as a “Grateful alcoholic”, I’d roll my eyes and want to wretch. I thought, “what a load of bullshit! Who could really be grateful for the dumpster fire alcohol made life into?!”
But you are so right…the conspicuousness of of an alcoholic life (the raging tornado of destruction) is the only thing that could get me to even be willing to consider the idea I was beyond human aid. Thank God!
I needed my “program for happiness” to be completely smashed and to have only one choice left, I could surrender my life to death or surrender my life to God. I needed the desperation.
Die to self.
Lose my life to find it.
Give it away to keep it.
“God never tires of being called on for help.” Thanks for this reminder. I grew up with the notion that God gets annoyed by people asking for help all the time. I like that it’s God’s job. Lol. So refreshing. I forget, in the midst of my angst, that God really likes when people ask for help and... all I need to do is ask!
My nephew, who is an addict, would really benefit from hearing these thoughts (I think so anyway). I often wonder how many times he’s tired of hearing words like these or when something will stick and resonate. Hmmm... this auntie’s heart hurts for him.
I really liked this. Question for you…is the divine really external or is it deep within? I find looking to anything external feels like a pull away from my inner self that is in fact, deeply connect to Christ. But now I’m looking at that like…is it that I need to get out of my own way or that I need to settle into her? I’ve been exploring that more as I realize my external validation can also look like pleas to God who is outside…external, it’s when I recognize I have this sovereignty inside that I meet God in my inner room and remember my name.
Being a good old alcoholic, I can really relate to your writing, I love the way you express yourself and I love your transparency and vulnerability, keep rocking on! Thank you!
Wonderfully wise and encouraging words as usual. Thank you! I’m one of those people whose wreckage from my addiction to people pleasing is usually less obvious but no less destructive than other addictions.
I’m less concerned about winning the approval of other people now and more aware of what my wiser, authentic self (God’s Spirit within me, whose voice I hear when I listen for it) wants and needs. It’s still a struggle to trust and follow that voice when it contradicts others who express their disapproval, though.
I feel that I won’t find God until I let go of all my comforts and I’m too afraid to let go and jump off the ledge.. I’m hoping He’ll turn up and prize me loose.
"And God never tires of being called upon for help. It’s like, God’s JOB."
Oh how I need to hear this today.
As a Catholic prison minister who provides printed meditations every week, this spoke to me so loudly. Many of the men I work with are there because their addictions were and still are affecting their lives. They are in a brig, supposedly receiving training and psychological help. Unfortunately, the stringent adherence of some of the guards, results in overwhelming loss of dignity and hope. Thank you for this chance to change their lives.
Thank you, Nadia! I needed this.